The following is a transcription of a discourse delivered by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja in Vṛndāvana, India on August 15, 2000


You know the pastime of Śrī Baladeva’s killing Romaharṣaṇa Sūta, but do you know why He did it? The fact is that this Romaharṣaṇa Sūta never honoured any devotees. He thought, “I am supreme of all. I am the guru of all the eighty-eight thousand ṛṣis assembled here.” Thousands of devotees who were superior to him were present, but he never respected them. You know that Baladeva knows all things, and so He realized this. He at once came to test him. As Romaharṣaṇa Sūta was accustomed not to honour any Vaiṣṇava, thinking himself superior to all, when Baladeva Prabhu arrived, he also did not honour Him. He could not stand up from his position and offer praṇāmas. If anyone is like this, he is neither qualified to speak hari-kathā nor is he qualified to hear hari-kathā. Baladeva Prabhu at once cut him. He said, “Nonsense, you don’t want to respect any of the devotees, and you think you are superior to them because you are speaking hari-kathā and they are hearing.”

He had never offered praṇāma to his audience. Quite the opposite of this, Prabhupāda Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura used to offer praṇāma to his entire audience. Feeling that they were prominent, he would tell them, “If you are not here, I cannot speak hari-kathā to anyone. You are like my vipada-uddhāraṇa-bandhu. You are my friends who are saving me from great danger.” If anyone explaining hari-kathā thinks, “None of them knows anything”, what is this? It is an offence.

Although someone may not be speaking hari-kathā, he may still be as qualified as Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura or Śrīla Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī. He may be lakhs times superior to the person speaking hari-kathā. Those who relish vaiṣṇava-sevā, harināma, and hearing of hari-kathā have more sukṛti than anyone. Sometimes, we neglect this, but we should try not to.

Baladeva Prabhu also killed Dvivida bandara (gorilla) in Dvārakā. Dvivida bandara was present at the time of Rāma. He had served Him so much and helped Him fight against Rāvaṇa. However, he had never given honour to Lakṣmaṇa. He thought, “What has Lakṣmaṇa done? Nothing.” He did not understand that Lakṣmaṇajī was always serving Rāma, and in fact, He was Rāma Himself.

Dvivida lived for so long that he was also present at the time of Kṛṣṇa. However, because he had the bad association of Bhaumāsura, Maya Dānava, Kālayavana, Jarāsandha, and all other demons, he became more and more stupid. He began to see everywhere, in all devotees, some loophole, some fault, and he used to criticize them. And again he was finding a ‘loophole’ in Lakṣmaṇa, who was now in the form of Baladeva Prabhu. He became naked and began to show off his body to the young women with whom Baladeva was enjoying pastimes. In that condition, he began to criticize Baladeva. He said, “How can you respect Balarāma? Balarāma is a lampaṭa, a very lusty person. He has Revatī as His wife and is so much attached to her.”

Anyone can be like this if he is associated with those criticising Vaiṣṇavas. Such a person will have no eyes to see the qualities of Vaiṣṇavas. Even a kaniṣṭha is superior to him. One should try to be very humble with all, and especially, one should not see faults or ‘loopholes’ in any Vaiṣṇavas. If we start finding faults in Vaiṣṇavas, then we will come to a state like Dvivida gorilla. We will also start finding fault in our guru and also in akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva, that is, Balarāma or Nityānanda Prabhu. Even those who were killed by Baladeva Prabhu, like Dvivida bandara and Romaharṣaṇa Sūta, were fortunate. We are even worse than Dvivida and Romaharṣaṇa Sūta because we don’t have this opportunity to be killed by Baladeva. We are not so fortunate and we are still cultivating so many aparādhas.

What does Baladeva Prabhu do? He ploughs. What does He plough? He cultivates. In Vraja, He cultivates the field of the eternal living entities, the jīvas. He prepares them or produces them. He creates or manifests the sandhinī-śakti.

Then, in Vaikuṇṭha, in the form of Maha Saṅkarṣaṇa, Baladeva cultivates the field of the eternal associates of Vaikuṇṭhādhipati, meaning Nārāyaṇa. As Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Baladeva cultivates all the taṭasthā-śakti living entities, those who are fit to go both to the spiritual abode and to the material abode.

Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. This word actually consists of three words: sat, cit, and ānanda. Kṛṣṇa Himself is considered to be the predominating Deity of cit. Cit means jñāna, which, when condensed or intensified, converts into bhāva; and this bhāva goes up to the stage of mahābhāva. Baladeva Prabhu is the predominating Deity of sat. Sat means existence, and all existence comes from Balarāma Prabhu. Even the existence of Kṛṣṇa’s body is due to Balarāma. Rādhārāṇī is the predominating Deity of ānanda, and all these three are together sat, cit, and ānanda in Kṛṣṇa.

Although all these three are in Kṛṣṇa together, they are also separate. This is Kṛṣṇa’s inconceivable potency. Each and every potency of Kṛṣṇa can take a separate form. His dṛṣṭi, His sight, also becomes personified. His capacity to see is His potency, which can also take a form. In our case, this potency is invisible, but in Kṛṣṇa’s case, the same potency can take a form. Dṛṣṭi, the potency to see, can also become personified. This is true also in the case of Rādhārāṇī. Her rūpa is Rūpa Mañjarī, and Her sight is Nayana-maṇi Mañjarī. In this way, although the sac-cid-ānanda potencies are in Kṛṣṇa, when they take forms they become Balarāma and Rādhārāṇī.

As Anaṅga Mañjarī Balarāma serves Rādhārāṇī in the conjugal mellow. In Rādhā-kuṇḍa the central and most important kuñja is Svānanda-sukhada-kuñja. This kuñja belongs to Anaṅga Mañjarī, and in this kuñja she always arranges nice paraphernalia for the pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

In rāma-līlā, this same Baladeva was Lakṣmaṇa, where He was forced to perform many types of pastimes that He did not wish to perform. At that time, He was the younger brother and could not say anything to His elder brother. He had to perform one fire test for Sītā, and He had to banish Her. In gaura-līlā, He came back as Lord Nityānanda, the older brother, not the younger brother, and He broke the ekadaṇḍa of Mahāprabhu.

Sometimes Baladeva Prabhu appears black. Why? When He came from Dvārakā, and He found the gopīs so much absorbed in Kṛṣṇa, then He also began feeling separation from Kṛṣṇa, absorbed Himself in Kṛṣṇa, and became black.

Respect all the Vaiṣṇavas and develop your tendency to serve. Try to serve each and every Vaiṣṇava. Cultivate this taste of serving. Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja had engaged some of his disciples in cultivating the seeds of eggplants. Why? Because they were not fit to continue chanting throughout the day. They had wanted to learn so much from him, but upon accepting them as disciples, he asked them to cultivate a field of eggplants. When Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura went there, they complained, “Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja is so close to you. Please ask him something for us. We have left our homes to learn something about Kṛṣṇa consciousness and chanting and hari-kathā. Instead of giving us hari-kathā, he asks us to do this field cultivation.” Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura felt their pulse and replied, “He has done correctly. This is your bhakti; this is your Kṛṣṇa consciousness cultivation. Because we are not fit to continue chanting all day, we are required to work, and we should serve according to the instructions given by Vaiṣṇavas and Gurudeva.”

Today is also Rakṣā-bandhana. We bind a rākhī (a very fancy cloth bracelet) to Kṛṣṇa. Earlier, this festival was practised differently from today. We bind a rākhī to Kṛṣṇa, or to Balarāma, so that they will protect us. They are our real protectors. Anantadeva is our real protector. This was the purpose of this festival. During the reign of one Muhammadan leader, the Muhammadans were inflicting so many atrocities on Indian women. Many Indian women accepted powerful kings as their protectors. They sent their rākhī to them and said, “Please bind this rākhī and protect us.” Since then this festival has taken place: a sister will bind a rākhī around a brother’s wrist who will protect her. The protector, however, is not, in fact, a brother. The protector is actually Balarāma. We can also accept Gurudeva as our protector from unwanted activities, mentalities, aparādhas, etc.

We can bind this rākhī to Gurudeva, and we should believe that to serve our Gurudeva, we can kill the whole world. It is not that you go and start killing the whole world, but this must be the emotion and feeling in your heart. Whoever does not have guru-niṣṭha cannot progress. This does not mean that because I am your guru I am asking and persuading you to serve me, but this is what I see from our guru-paramparā. Śrīla Prabhupāda used to say about Śrīla Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, “When I approached him to take initiation, he under some pretext refused to initiate me. He said I possessed extensive knowledge while actually implying, ‘You are overly proud of your education.’ So he wanted to break my pride and refused to initiate me. My whole pride collapsed, and I began a fast. I vowed that ‘I will die now. I will die.’ Then he gave me initiation.”

Similarly, my Gurudeva served Prabhupāda so earnestly. In one night, he changed a graveyard into a garden. Whenever he used to talk about his Gurudeva, he could not utter the words ‘Śrīla Prabhupāda’, and he used to weep bitterly. We see that this does not happen in our case. He was so dedicated to his Gurudeva.

If someone criticises one’s Gurudeva and the disciple remains quiet, then he is not more than an impotent eunuch. When our Gurudeva started Ratha-yātrā in Navadvīpa, no one criticized him. However, when he left this world, a highly advanced devotee spoke something against Ratha-yātrā in Navadvīpa. The day I heard it, I could not sleep at night. I was restless and so much agitated. Soon after that, I wrote an article in our magazine, which created chaos, havoc and great agitation on the other side. Hence, there was a fight that lasted for an entire year. If we do not do these things, we are not doing manobhīṣṭa-sevā, service to the inner heart’s desire of Śrī Gurudeva. We should establish Gurudeva’s principles, and when any opposition comes, we should defeat them.


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Unless indicated differently, all verse translations and quotes are from the books by Śrīla Prabhupāda (

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